The importance of a national show with international reach such as AIMExpo presented by Nationwide is that it allows manufacturers from around the world to present new products to the North American powersports industry, media and consumers. This access wasn’t lost on the team at UBCO – a New Zealand-based company, which is returning to AIMExpo to unveil its new FRX1 Freeride Trail bike.
UBCO was formed in New Zealand by Timothy Allan, Daryl Neal and Anthony Clyde in 2015. The first product was the 2×2, a dual electric drive utility motorbike, which was used in the agricultural and recreational market. It entered service at the start of 2016 and since then has been in continuous service with New Zealand’s notoriously tough farm users, who have played a key role in the product development. The original off-road 2×2 has now evolved into a road registered “dual-purpose” utility vehicle – allowing riders to take their adventures both on- and off-road.
Based in Tauranga, New Zealand and Eugene, Oregon, UBCO supplies North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The company’s long term goals called for model expansion, which will be realized with the launch of the new FRX1 model at this year’s show, which takes place on September 26-29 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH.
“It’s vitally important to establish credibility in the marketplace, and AIMExpo allows that,” explained Timothy Allan, CEO at UBCO Ltd. “Attending industry shows over an extended period allows dealers and consumers to get to know the brand and the people behind it. We’re also committed to developing a strong nationwide dealer network and we see AIMExpo as a key component in achieving that.”
UBCO’s U.S. President, Ethan Ralston, also sees that value in attending the upcoming show, and is excited to be involved. “We’re very excited to be exhibiting for the second straight year at AIMExpo. Last year saw the initial launch of the UBCO brand to U.S. dealers and since then we’ve signed up almost 40 dealers across the country. AIMExpo is not only an excellent launching platform for new OEMs but it’s been great to work with them to highlight leading new electric vehicle OEMs in the US such as ours.”
UBCO recently announced it has entered into a general agreement with Lithuanian-based Neematic to bring Neematic’s free ride electric bike concept into the UBCO product family as the FRX1 (Freeride Trail Bike One). With its 20hp peak power brushless motor, lightweight mid-drive frame and hardcore off-road suspension, UBCO views the FRX1 as the perfect fusion of MTB and dirt bike, adding another dimension to UBCO’s growing product line.
The new bike boasts a twist throttle with Super Pedal Assist, as well as long-travel suspension and hydraulic brakes in a package that weighs 115 lbs. and can reach 50 mph. Charging time is 2.5 hours and range is up to 62 miles, with 10% charging available through the regenerative braking system.
“The UBCO 2×2 is being used in a wide array of environments and with the FRX1 we now we have the ability to offer another solution to our existing customers, while also tapping into new markets with our utility and performance product lines,” Tim continued. “One machine can’t meet everybody’s needs, but a variety of solutions allows us to reach new customers and be more attractive to potential dealers.”
Where the UBCO 2×2 has been successfully targeted at farms, conservation companies, touring enthusiasts and more, the FRX1 is aimed more directly at the North American recreation market. “It’s an exciting new product,” Tim enthused. “We’re going to provide a product suite to help bring EVs into the mainstream. And as we continue to develop new opportunities, we understand it’s vital to build brand awareness within the powersports industry so they can see what we’re doing.”
When discussing the challenges faced, Tim was forthright about the importance of AIMExpo in UBCO’s strategic planning: “When you start as a small company, you’re working up from the bottom to build awareness and respect, which we know will come with time. But being present and engaged is vital, so we decided to not only exhibit at AIMExpo presented by Nationwide but also to launch the FRX1 there, which will allow dealers to see what we’re doing and contribute to overall confidence in the brand. It’s about being present and developing relationships. We want dealers and consumers to understand we’re here for the long term. One of our drivers is to build a consistent presence in the industry and AIMExpo plays a critical part in that.”
Not only will the groundbreaking UBCO 2×2 be on display and available for demo rides at the show, visitors can also see the new UBCO FRX1. The lightweight Freeride Trail Bike represents the first phase of a broadened UBCO product range, with hints about more announcements to be made within the next 12 months.
The UBCO FRX1 will be available to U.S. consumers in June 2020. Visitors to ubcobikes.com can learn more about the company’s products and see them in action through the Power your Purpose video series, which paints global pictures of how individuals incorporate UBCO bikes into their daily lives.
UBCO FRX1 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS*
Curb weight: 115 lb
Max speed: 50mph
Max range: up to 62 miles
Max torque: 207 lb-ft
20hp max power
Liquid-cooled brushless motor
Twist throttle and pedal assist modes
2.2 kWh Li-ion cells
Full charge time: 2.5 hours
Up to 10% regeneration with braking
Frame & body
Mid-drive design for off-road performance
6082 T6 alluminum-alloy frame
50/50 weight ratio
Low center of gravity
Adjustable compression and rebound
8” front travel
7.9” rear travel
Adjustable regenerative braking
Front four-piston hydraulic brakes
Rear two-piston hydraulic brakes
7.9” rotor diameter
26” lightweight, high-strength alloy front rim
24” lightweight, high-strength alloy rear rim
Adjustable bicycle seat
Nine-speed gearbox for pedaling
*Height / Length / Weight measures are approximate. All product specifications are subject to change without notice to improve performance, function and/or design.